If you’re not quite feeling the burn, or are just way too swamped to make it to the gym, you can still make small changes during the day to help keep you on track. 100 calories may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a few days, weeks and months, those calories will equal a nice boost to your fitness level. Incorporate these tips into your daily routine to see a lower number when you step on the scale.
Move It to Lose It
Look for every opportunity to keep it moving. “The best way to burn extra calories throughout the day is to move, move and keep moving,” says Orangetheory Fitness trainer Kim Terrinoni. “Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away or take the dog for a long walk. When you’re at work, get up from your desk and go for a walk. Be conscious of the different ways you can start to move a little more than you typically do each day.”
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Break It Up
Be strategic about increasing your daily activity to ramp up your caloric burn. Break up your exercise into three smaller 10-minute sessions instead of one 30-minute workout. “Research shows that short bouts of exercise accumulated throughout the day provide the same positive health related benefits as exercising in one continuous session,” explains fitness expert Jessica Matthews. “Before you go to work in the morning perform 10 minutes of body weight exercises, such as squats, lunges and push-ups; take a 10 minute walk during your lunch break; and complete 10 minutes of yoga-inspired stretching in the evening while watching your favorite TV show.”
Monitor the calories you expend using fitness trackers or apps on your smartphone. “Invest in a wearable activity tracker, such as a Fitbit or Jawbone wristband. These devices can track everything from the number of calories burned, steps taken and the quality and duration of your sleep,” recommends Matthews. Download a pedometer app or an all-day activity tracker app, like Human, on your smartphone. See your active minutes, distance covered and calories burned all in one place.
Think outside the box and get creative. “Make a list of physical activities that you enjoy doing, like dancing, golfing, hiking, biking or gardening—the list is endless,” adds Terrinoni. “Create a playlist of your favorite songs and just dance around your living room. Add in some crunches, jumping jacks, squats or hold a 5-minute plank.” Trick yourself into burning more calories by doing fun things that help you forget that you’re actually doing exercise.